The Observer is now in its 31st year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows over the past week, how the segments individually did on Raw and Impact, and results from all the major arena events.
Also in this week's issue:
--Notes on the deaths of three key personalities in Mexico, including a regional star who had huge matches but wasn't well known nationally
--CMLL's biggest tournament of the year, the search for a new idol, all the details, how the matches all can be seen in the U.S.
--A rundown of the wrestlers and schedule
--Notes from the biggest shows of the weekend in Mexico
--Major title matches next week
--Many of the biggest stars of the 70s, 80s and 90s are back this coming week
--Latest angles in AAA
--Jumbo Tsuruta Memorial show
--Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show
--Chris Hero faces one of the best technical wrestlers in the world in Japan
--Notes on the first of the major Tokyo shows from New Japan
--Son of Hall of Famer in big match against current top star
--New reality TV show on wrestling being considered
--New promotion starting out
--One of the biggest indie shows of the year
--A great book about regional territorial wrestling from a promoter who worked from the ground up
--How this book differs from other books by promoters
--Most popular podcasts involving wrestlers
--Major show in Puerto Rico
--Carlos Colon's first Hall of Fame induction ceremony just took place
--Former wrestling show host on major sports show
--Upcoming retirement of one of the 80s biggest stars
--More on A.J. Styles and price of a top wrestler on the indie scene
--Plight of former top stars going on indies
--Jeff Hardy and Willow
--TNA Knockouts division notes
--A big surprise regarding someone talking about returning to TNA
--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows
--More on GSP, Chris Weidman and Johny Hendricks' surgeries
--New PPV main event and thoughts on it
--Lots of new fights
--Fights for title shots expected
--Unique reason why fighter was pulled from TUF
--Last week's Bellator show
--Last week's World Series of Fighting show
--Upcoming WSOF shows
--Notes on a big grudge match that was 11 years in the making and the hostilities that came out of it
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--We have two new shows up on the site today with me, one talking with David Bixenspan about the Ultimate Warrior and his runs in WWE, legal action, and interfacing over the years with Vince McMahon, and later tonight we'll preview the WrestleMania week.
--Plans are for the WrestleMania commercial for the Santa Clara to show air on Sunday, and the 2016 announcement to be made in the fall.
--Odds at the Betfair Sportsbook
Brock Lesnar +1100
Daniel Bryan -3300
Daniel Bryan -800
Randy Orton +1400
Will C.M. Punk appear
John Cena +200
Bray Wyatt -225
--WWE stock closed down 56 cents today at $29.04 per share.
--Mick Foley is doing four shows next week, a Tuesday show in Baltimore at the Comedy Factory, a Wednesday show in Virginia Beach at Funny Bone, a Thursday show in Richmond, VA at Funny Bone and a Friday pro wrestling show appearance in Wantagh, NY.
--Reports are that there are a ton of "Yes" chants at the New Orleans Airport. People coming off planes from all over the world are landing and chanting.
PLANS FOR WRESTLEMANIA VIEWING
Bought it on PPV last year, network this year 28.7%
Didn't buy on PPV last year, getting it on the network this year 20.9%
PPV last year and this year 16.0%
Didn't watch either year 15.7%
Streamed last year, buying on network this year 10.7%
Purchased last year, streaming illegally this year 3.3%
Purchased last year, not getting this year 2.5%
Didn't buy on PPV last year, buying on PPV this year 2.2%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW
Daniel Bryan 62.7%
Brock Lesnar 4.9%
Stephanie McMahon 4.9%
Roddy Piper 4.2%
Randy Orton 2.0%
Paul Heyman 1.0%
POLL ON RAW
10.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Extreme Rules will be available as a PPV on all the usual cable systems. Nether major satellite service has announced whether they are carrying the show or not.
--Booker T will be signing at the WrestleMania store at the New Orleans Convention Center at 1 p.m. tomorrow. Fandango & Summer Rae are signing at 4 p.m.
--The movie Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies will be screening at the Prytania Theater in New Orleans at 7 p.m. Shane Douglas, Matt Hardy and Reby Sky will all be there.
--There will be a Legacy Fighting show on AXS on Friday night at 10 p.m. from Albuquerque headlined by former boxing champion Holly Holm facing Juliana Werner for the company's bantamweight title.
--James Storm will be on the first episode of "Amazing America" with Sarah Palin which airs tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on the Sportsman Channel. Pilgrim Studios, which has done every season of Ultimate Fighter, produced the segment. They've shot an entire season and felt the piece on Storm was so good they chose it to highlight the first episode of the show. A commercial is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?vv=VH_-mYBOPS8
--Former TNA wrestler Sarita and former WWE star Serena Deeb will be headlining for Beauty Slammers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from 4/25 to 5/10. They have a show on 5/1 in Sydney, Nova Scotia which will air on iPPV, which will crown their first champion.
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla: Hechicero & Guerrero Espacial & Ares el Guerrero b Robin & Paris & Tigre Rojo Jr., Pierrothito & Espiritu Maligno & Blue Center b Electrico & Asturiano & Ultimo Dragoncito, Bobby Zavala b Stigma, Mr. Aguila won Torneo Cibernetico over Gran Guerrero, Kraneo, Niebla Roja, Olimpico, Morphosis, Euforia, Averno, Ripper and Mephisto, Mr. Niebla & Negro Casas b Volador Jr. & La Sombra
--CMLL last night in Guadalajara: Divino b Ebola, Canelo Casas & El Hijo del Signo & Disturbio b Metatron & Black Metal & Esfinge, Silueta & Estrellita & Dark Angel b Tiffany & Zeuxis & Comandante-DQ, Camorra b Leo, Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia & Gran Guerrero b Blue Panther & Black Panther & Cachorro, Atlantis & Titan & Diamante Azul b Universo 2000 & Sanson & Cuatrero, Blue Panther & Black Panther & Cachorro b Universo 2000 & Sanson & Cuatrero-DQ for third place, Atlantis & Titan & Diamante Azul b Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia & Gran Guerrero to win tournament
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1943 - Tarzan Lopez beat El Santo in Mexico City to win the Mexican national welterweight title
1978 - Kung Fu beat Fishman in Mexico City to win the Mexican national welterweight title
1982 - Mascara Ano 2000 beat David Morgan in Mexico City to win the NWA light heavyweight title
1989 - In one of the greatest matches of the era, Ricky Steamboat beat Ric Flair in 56 minutes in a 2/3 fall match at the Clash of the Champions at the Superdome in New Orleans. Mike Rotunda & Steve Williams beat The Road Warriors to win the world tag team titles on that show
1989 - Head-to-head Hulk Hogan beat Randy Savage to win the WWF title to climax one of the best storylines in pro wrestling history
1990 - Gran Hamada beat Zandokan in Mexico City to win the UWA light heavyweight title
1993 - Dr. Wagner Jr beat Pierroth in Mexico City to win the CMLL light heavyweight title
1995 - Owen Hart & Yokozuna beat The Smoking Gunns to win the WWF tag title, Bret Hart beat Bob Backlund in an I Quit match and Diesel beat Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania in Hartford. The main event was Lawrence Taylor in his only pro wrestling match, beating Bam Bam Bigelow
1999 - El Hijo del Santo & Negro Casas beat Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. in Mexico City to win the CMLL tag titles
2000 - At WrestleMania in Anaheim, Edge & Christian beat The Hardy and The Dudleys in a ladder match to win the world tag team titles, a unique three way two fall match saw Chris Benoit end up as IC champion and Chris Jericho as European champion. Kurt Angle was the third guy in the match. HHH won a four-way over Rock, Mick Foley and Big Show to retain the WWF title
2001 - Pac (Adrian Neville) won over Ross Jordan and Stevie Lynn to win the FWA flyweight title
2006 - At WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, John Cena beat HHH to keep the WWF title, Rob Van Dam won the Money in the Bank match and JBL beat Chris Benoit to win the U.S. title
--Adam Pearce will be doing the p.a. announcing tonight at the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres game which airs on Sportsnet LA and Fox Sports San Diego, as well as the MLB Network, and on radio on KTNQ 1020 AM and Fox Sports 570 AM as well as Mighty 1090 AM in San Diego. This is his fourth audition. There will be fan voting to see if he gets the job for this season.
--Red Sox outfielder Johnny Gomes has been given the nickname Hacksaw Johnny Gomes because he cuts wrestling promos. Boston Sports Hub radio this morning based on that played quotes and people had to guess whether it was a wrestler from the 80s or Johnny Gomes, and played clips of Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Demolition and others. Gomes and Warrior did promos that were eerily similar. That's kind of scary. (thanks to Michael O'Brien)
--The web site www.al.com/
is doing daily features on WrestleMania, focusing on Mobile resident Paul Bearer going into the Hall of Fame.
--West Coast Wrestling Federation on 4/5 at the Bob White Theater in Portland. The group has gotten TV clearance on KPDX at midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday with The Grappler as the top star. They will be taping from Noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. For ticket info go go
or 503-851-9980. They also have a live show on 4/12 at 6 p.m. in Salem, OR at the Houck Middle School.
--AM New York ran a photo of Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart's arrival at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan at yesterday's WrestleMania press conference.